It happens. Even though Panhellenic tries very hard to get a house match for every girl, sometimes a PNM does not receive a bid. This is truly a very, very rare occurrence.
Most often, a PNM drops out of recruitment before bid day simply because she is unhappy with her pref party card (NEVER do this, btw!) But sometimes, a PNM does not receive a bid at the end of sorority recruitment.
What To Do It You Do Not Receive A Bid:
Advice for PNMs and Mamas
It is bid day morning. Your stomach is in knots and you are crossing your fingers until they are white at the knuckles! You are hoping you do not hear from your Gamma Chi prior to bid card release. Waiting is the worst part of the day. Your dorm hall is eerily quiet as the other PNMs are also playing the waiting game.
But then, you hear from your Gamma Chi. You know what it means before she even begins speaking. She cries. You cry. She quietly leaves and you are not sure what to do next……..
BID DAY ADVICE FOR PNMs
If you were the recipient of a Gamma Chi visit on bid day morning, hang in there. First things first, resist the urge to call/text your high school friends right now! Emotions are very raw for you and you need time to privately process what just happened before making it public.
You may or may not have a roommate that went through recruitment. If you did, and she is clearly receiving a bid because her Gamma Chi did not stop by, genuinely congratulate her and then LEAVE THE DORM ROOM. Find a quiet, private place where you can call your mama or rush confidant. Your roommate will feel awkward amidst the tears and phone calls. Do not put her in this situation.
Once you are in a quiet place do the following:
- Call your rush confidant, mama or Gamma Chi
- Cry it out. Let it go.
- Pull out your Involvement List and look at your options! You have GREAT options at your college. Revisit them. You have a future at your university! An organization truly wants a girl like you!
- Then you are ready, stop by the Student Union and sign up or just talk to whoever is at the counter. Get out of the dorm room and back in the action. Did you know that there are 100’s of girls who did not even participate in recruitment? They are in your shoes and are looking for their place outside of the Greek system, too. They will be looking for someone to eat with, study with, etc.
Do not sit in your dorm room and sulk for weeks. Yes, it will be hard seeing the other girls immersing themselves in their houses. BUT YOU HAVE A LOT TO OFFER. Getting out of your dorm room is critical.
BID DAY ADVICE FOR MAMAS/RUSH CONFIDANTS
While your heart is breaking to hear the tears and frustration on the other end of the phone, there ARE things you can do to help empower her to move on……
As you begin the conversation with your daughter, ask her where she is right now as in geographically.
Is she in her dorm? A private bench under a tree? Knowing where she is physically can help you understand what resources may be near her after your call. If she’s in her dorm room, you know her R.A. will be nearby for encouraging talks later in the day. If she is outside, you know that the fresh air will clear her mind, as will the walk back to the dorm. Encourage her to run into a Starbucks or the student union on her way back. The normalcy will help her move forward.
As you move into the conversation, ask her how she is feeling. She will most likely tell you on the front end but make sure you validate her emotions by asking. You will most likely hear the following:
“It’s not fair!”
“Kaley got a bid and she was the high school whore!”
“I hate this place! Why did I come here?!”
“What’s wrong with me? Why don’t they want me?”
Let her vent to you. However, stop short of agreeing with her on all points as this will lead to additional negative thought processes down the road. Here is what I would tell my daughter in this situation:
“It’s not fair!” You know, we talked about this before recruitment. We knew how competitive it was going to be and how it doesn’t always work out fairly. I am mad too, but we knew this could happen. It doesn’t seem fair right now, but you were meant for something else.
“Kaley go a bid and she was the high school whore!” Yes, I remember her reputation and all I can say is that her sorority house will have their hands full with her! And, if that is the kind of girl they are looking for, clearly you were meant for better organizations! But we don’t know what Kaley showed them during rounds or if they knew about her reputation. I am just glad you will not be affiliated with a house and a girl like Kaley.
“I hate this place! Why did I come here?” When we toured the campus, you commented that you felt at home there and really liked it. That was before you even visited a sorority house! You were impressed with all university had to offer. Pull out your Involvement List and remind yourself why you picked State University. What I think I am hearing is that you hate your current situation with Greek recruitment, and that’s fair. But the university has a lot that I think you will like it there if you give them a chance.
“What’s wrong with me? Why don’t they want me?” Recruitment is a numbers game and has nothing to do with you personally. Maybe the houses were full of legacies? Maybe quota changed? You maximized your options which is all you could do! Outside of that, it is strictly numbers. Pull out your Involvement List – look at all of the organizations just waiting for a girl like you to join! Greek letters do not define who you are to me, to the college or to yourself.
Bring the conversation away from what just happened (it’s hard, I know) and try to get her to focus on what’s next. Does she know other girls that got cut? (If she claims- through large elephant tears- that she is the only one, gently remind her that there are other girls in her shoes.) Are there girls on her hall that did not even go through recruitment? (Again, she may tell you that EVERYONE did and she’s the only one…..this could be true….but there has to be someone somewhere in that big dorm that did not go thru rush!)
Bottom line: Your daughter feels alone and rejected. There are no magic words to make everything ok. But your availability to listen to her and your thoughtful words of guidance will empower her.
Ask her to go out of her dorm room and just talk to someone. ANYONE! Maybe it’s the other girls who are in the same boat she is in at the moment. Seek and ye shall find! Sitting alone in a dorm is not going to change her situation, but actions will! Ask her to look into one group on her Involvement List in the next 24 hours. Give her a deadline. This will empower her to move on! When we have a purpose, we have focus. Your girl needs something other than Greek letters to focus on right now, and you can help her by defining her need to look into other groups. Nothing is a better motivator than a deadline.
Ask her to find someone in her dorm or in the student union to eat with that night. Maybe she goes to the library (always a social hub) that evening. So, yes, going to the library when the other girls are at bid day parties is a polar opposite experience. But, THERE WILL BE OTHERS THERE and maybe she strikes up a conversation! You never know when you may cross the path of a future friend! And, it sure beats spending the evening in the dorm room.
When you get ready to say goodbye ask her when you will talk to her next. It is still important to let HER drive the communication. But, impress on her that you understand what she is going through right now. Clearly tell her that she is important and you’d appreciated being kept close in the loop. Remind her that you will be waiting to hear about the group she is checking into in the next 24 hours!
Finally, send her flowers in her university colors. Add a balloon or two to the order! Flowers are cheerful & happy, which will be a refreshing focal point in her dorm room. And, ordering them in the university colors reinforces to her the fact that you feel strongly she is a the right place….she can make the university her own!
She will find her group! College life should never revolve around just one social outlet, like a sorority. A collegiate experience that is well rounded will provide the most happiness.
Finally, tell her you are very proud of her for handling this situation with class and dignity. Remind her that she is a strong girl who will come out better tomorrow because of today.